How to Treat Foot Rashes

Sometimes one person's feet can react badly to something most other feet don't mind at all. This condition is called contact dermatitis, and the result is a rash. This condition can be a little tricky to figure out, but the following information will give you some suggestions on how to treat foot rashes.

The offending allergen could be something you've accidentally brushed up against while barefoot. It could also be something you've put on your feet, such as the material of your socks; a new foot powder you're using; or the leather, fabric, or rubber in your shoes.

If you develop a rash and/or experience itching, think of what's new in your foot's life. Then eliminate it for awhile, and see if the rash disappears. If it doesn't, an over-the-counter antifungal cream may help the reaction -- and the itching -- go away. Follow package directions, and if the symptoms persist and/or become very painful, you may want to consult an allergist or podiatrist. Once the allergy begins to recede, you can help relieve inflammation by soaking your feet in lukewarm water once a day.

There's another possible culprit in the rash category. What you think is an allergy may actually be athlete's foot, a contagious fungal infection that develops between toes or on soles when the foot is exposed to an excessive amount of moisture. Athlete's foot is often acquired by walking around barefoot in wet places, such as swimming pools and health-club showers, where fungal infections spread easily.

Most cases respond to over-the-counter antifungal creams, and there are many new topical drugs available that are very effective, including econazole nitrate (1%). Sometimes, however, special tests are needed to determine what offending organism is causing your particular case of athlete's foot and to prescribe appropriate treatment.

To prevent athlete's foot -- as well as the foot wetness that can worsen a case of it -- dry your feet and toes thoroughly after showering, wear absorbent socks (and change them often), and don't wear the same shoes day after day. This is especially important for athletes, who should buy two pairs of athletic shoes and switch back and forth between them daily.

Gout is a whole-body condition with symptoms that often manifest themselves in the feet. Learn more when you click to the next section.

To learn more about treating and avoiding problems with your feet, visit:

  • Everyday Foot Problems: Discover what causes some of the most commonly encountered foot problems, as well as how to treat or avoid them.
  • How to Care for Your Feet: Learn how to keep your feet -- and yourself -- healthy and happy with these tips on caring for your feet, including selecting the right shoes.
This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.